The Journal: News of the Churches of God at

Book compares preachers
of 'New Truth' to insects

Encouraging Communication among the Churches of God
STAY INFORMED.  Join our Email List!

Book compares preachers
of 'New Truth' to insects

by Mac Overton
The writer is a longtime Church of God member,
a frequent Journal contributor and editor of The Gilmer Mirror.

GILMER, Texas--Is the minister you listen to on the radio or TV or maybe even in person a wacko or, worse, a loonytoon? Is there any way to tell for sure?

Longtime Church of God member Pam Dewey of Allegan, Mich., and longtime COG evangelist Ron Dart of Whitehouse, Texas, say there is a way.

The two have published a booklet, Doctrinal Self-Defense: ANT Control in the Information Age, that addresses the issue.

ANT, by the way, doesn't just refer to six-legged bugs. It stands for "Amazing New Truth," which the authors say is chief among the characteristics of many Church of God and other preachers presenting something "New."

Here is a summary of Mr. Dart's and Mrs. Dewey's advice:

  • You have a right not to listen.

"You are under no obligation to listen to the claims of every would-be preacher you encounter. Have a little self-respect. After all, you didn't become a Christian in the first place without reading the Bible ... In becoming a Christian, you are obliged to read, not books about the Bible, but the Bible itself ..."

  • Respect tradition, the "accumulated judgment of a community over time ..."

  • Develop a biblical worldview. "If something doesn't sound quite right, there's a significant probability it isn't right ..."

  • Dismiss intimidation. None of us has ever been intimidated by a bullying minister, right?

"What is it is about religious teachers and preachers that they so often act like bullies? Paul warned of this type of person in the 1st century ..."

  • Beware of the lure of "The Inner Circle."

When I (Mac Overton) was a student at Ambassador College in the mid-1970s, it was unacceptable to be a member of any clique except the I-want-to-be-a-minister clique.

  • Keep it simple.

"A common feature of many explanations of ANTs is an overblown complexity. A topic that may be addressed in a handful of passages in the Bible can be spun out by some gurus into a convoluted explanation in a ponderous thick book ..."

  • Avoid the Know-It-All and the Novelty Peddler, and learn how to reason soundly.

There is more, much more.

The book is $8 (I think this includes postage). Order it from CEM, P.O. Box 560, Whitehouse, Texas 75791, U.S.A., or visit, or call (903) 839-9300.


Visit the BEST Web Sites!
The Journal:  News of the Churches of God